Tips for Healing Spider Veins, Curing Bad Breath, and More….

Section: Your Community Health Forum: Reader to Reader

Discover the best advice readers had to share.
Make Spider veins Disappear

LOVELY M. MIXON from New York City asked for ways to get rid of spider veins.

CHANCE DIEBOLD, N.D., a naturopath in Scottsdale, Ariz., responded via email: The only way to get rid of spider veins is by having them removed. Sclerotherapy, which involves injecting a substance into the veins that destroys them, is a less expensive and less invasive option than laser removal, and most licensed naturopathic physicians can perform it. Some conventional doctors also perform sclerotherapy, but I recommend the holistic approach that naturopaths take. Herbs like horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum), horsetail (Equisetum arvense), and witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) can prevent spider veins if you use them regularly. Take 1 to 5 drops of horse chestnut tincture three times per day, 20 to 60 drops of horsetail tincture three to four times per day, and 10 to 60 drops of witch hazel tincture four times per day.
Freshen Stale Breath

GIGI wrote for suggestions to help her daughter's chronic bad breath.

CHRISTI ANDRESS from Long Beach, Miss., responded via email: My daughter also suffered from chronic bad breath. Nothing helped until I took her to the doctor and we found she had acid reflux. Once the reflux was under control, her bad breath disappeared. BETH HAHN from Arlington, Va., responded via email: My daughter had the same problem. We took her to an allergist who found she was allergic to dust and cats. When we stripped the house of carpets and curtains, took all her stuffed animals out of her room, and put in an air cleaner, her bad breath and other symptoms disappeared right away.

K.V. responded via email: I also had stale breath when I was your daughter's age. My doctor said that my tonsils were larger than normal and that holes in my tonsils formed pockets that collected food. The doctor used an extra-long cotton swab to remove the built-up food. Gargling with salt water will help the smell and dislodge any trapped food.

JEANA G. responded via email: Supplementing with alfalfa tablets (Medicago sativa) and eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, with very few processed foods, helped clear up my bad breath.

VERA FANUZZl from Portland, Ore., responded via email: From my experience, a child's chronic bad breath can be the result of a milk intolerance. I've seen bad breath disappear when all forms of dairy were eliminated from the diet. RON WING from Wichita, Kan., responded: According to Live Right For Tour Type by Peter J. D'Adamo (Putnam, 2000), persistent bad breath sufferers may have polyamine levels that are too high. The best way to reduce your polyamine levels would be to follow the appropriate diet for your blood type.
Help for Eye Inflammation

VALERIE STARK wrote about the inflamed irises in her eyes and the vision problems that have resulted, including floaters.

JEANNE MELLETTE from Spartanburg, S.C., responded: For inflammation of the eye, rinse three to four times a day with eyebright tea (Euphrasia officinalis). To make the tea, pour 1 cup of boiling water over 2 teaspoons of the dried herb. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Strain through a paper coffee filter to remove all herb particles, and then cool to room temperature. Pour the tea into an eyecup (available at drugstores) and bathe each eye for at least five seconds, and up to one minute. Do a liver flush (drinking a mixture of teas, juices, or other ingredients that stimulate the elimination of stored toxic wastes) to alleviate floaters.

DIANE from New York City responded via email: Consider taking the following supplements, which may improve eye health: lutein (a carotenoid), glutathione (an antioxidant that helps make the enzyme glutathione peroxidase), and the herb bilberry (Vacdnium myrtillus). You should also try eye exercises found in vision therapy books, or see a vision therapist for instructions.
Eat Healthy While Traveling

AMANDA MARTIN from Plainfield, III., wrote for tips on how to eat a healthy diet with her hectic schedule as a flight attendant.

NANCY SCHNEIDER responded via email: Always eat breakfast. Pack cereal or a muffin so you don't have to depend on hotel or airport offerings. When I'm home and am able to cook healthy meals, I make a little extra, pack it in an oven- and microwave-safe Corning dish, and freeze it. When I go on a trip, I keep the dish cold with the ice on the plane or at the hotel, and heat it up when I'm ready to eat. In the United States, ethnic restaurants have the healthiest foods; try Ethiopian or Indian.
Where to Walk Safely

DENISE, a 13-year-old from Pennsylvania, asked for help finding safe places to walk for exercise.

CHRIS MALAKOWSKY from Longview, Wash., responded: You could take the bus to a safer location or try to find other people in your neighborhood who like to walk so you can walk together.

Note: Please don't substitute advice on this page for medical care. See a doctor if you're sick.
Can You Help?

These Readers Are Seeking Advice
Help for Oily Hair

Does anyone have a favorite home remedy for oily hair? I desperately need help.
Joy Melzer Kansas City, Mo., via email

Skin Tag Removal

My daughter has numerous skin tags on her neck and shoulders. Her doctor says just to forget about them, but she thinks they're unsightly. Has anyone found a safe way to deal with these?
Steve O. Las Vegas, via email

A Terrible Taste

I have a metallic taste in my mouth and my tongue is coated. Are they related? What causes this, and how can I treat it?
M.D. Seed San Juan, Puerto Rico

Salt Alternatives

My doctor says my sodium intake is too high, but I like the flavor salt adds to my food. Can anyone recommend good salt alternatives?
Justine Ming Maiden, Mass.

Answers may appear as early as our July 2003 issue.

JOIN THE DISCUSSION Have a question to ask or an answer to give? Send it to Reader to Reader, Natural Health, 70 Lincoln Street, 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02111, or email us at

In the United States, ethnic restaurants seem to have the healthiest fare.

PHOTO (COLOR): Herbs like horsetail and witch hazel strengthen blood vessels in your legs.

PHOTO (COLOR): Stored toxins in your liver may cause floaters.

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